Formally recognise the importance of affective touch for children's mental health and wellbeing by providing guidance for schools, care settings and foster homes and including this form of provision in inspection frameworks.
Why is this important?
Affective touch is a powerful medium for conveying empathy between people, for example when acknowledging that a child is highly successful, anxious or upset. A large body of recent neurobiological and psychological research clearly demonstrates that affective touch activates a crucial nerve system in the skin of all mammals that defends against stress and promotes feelings of well-being. A lack of touch is linked to less ability to cope. Safe touch also promotes discussion about what is not safe or wanted by other people.
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